Higher education students’ income in the summer
Students finance their summer by working or with student financial aid. If these are not possible, a student can apply for income support.
Your partner’s income or property will not affect the amount of student financial aid you receive. However, your partner’s income and property will affect the amount of income support.
General housing benefit is awarded to a household and those living in the same accommodation generally belong to the same household. Married couples or couples in a common-law marriage as well as close relatives and people renting accommodation through a joint rental contract are always regarded as belonging to the same household. People who rent part of an accommodation through separate rental contracts are also part of the same household if they are responsible for the rent for all of the accommodation under the terms of the rental contract or an appendix to it.
In practice, joint responsibility means that if, for example, one of the tenants fails to pay their rent, the other tenants are jointly responsible ensuring that the full rent for the accommodation is paid.
The incomes of all members of the household affect the amount of housing benefit.
People living in the same accommodation belong to different households and they can be awarded separate housing benefit
- if they are not partners or close relatives and if they have separate rental contracts and are not responsible for the rent for all of the accommodation under the terms of the rental contract
- one of the tenants is the main tenant and the others are sub-tenants
In these situations only your own income will affect the amount of housing benefit.
A foreigner who has come to Finland to study cannot generally receive Finnish student financial aid. If a foreigner is permanently resident in Finland, and if the reason for being in Finland is not for the purposes of study, then they may receive student financial aid. If a foreign student is entitled to student financial aid they may also receive it during the summer months.
A foreigner who is permanently resident in Finland and is covered by Finland’s social security system has the right to housing benefit and income support on the same terms as Finnish citizens resident in Finland.
The best way to finance the summer period is to get a summer job. If you do not get work for the summer or you want to graduate sooner, you can study during the summer and receive student financial aid for one or more of the summer months. Income support is the last option to secure a student’s income.
If you work during the summer, pay attention to the annual income limits for student financial aid. Income from a summer job is counted as part of your annual income.
Recipients of housing benefit must inform Kela if there is a change to the income that was taken into account when making the decision on housing benefit. If you wish, you can also give up your housing benefit. Remember that housing benefit can only be awarded again from the beginning of the month preceding the month the application was made.
You must be studying in order to receive student financial support. Studies in the summer may consist of lectures, exams, work placements or working on a thesis. The summer months when student financial support is paid are counted as part of the total number of months that you receive student financial support.
Apply to Kela for student financial support using the student financial support amendment form.
If you already receive general housing benefit you will also receive it for the summer months. However, you must remember that a housing benefit recipient must inform Kela if their income changes compared to the figure used in making the housing benefit decision. You can also give up your housing benefit for the summer for example. If you move, you have to apply for housing benefit again.
If you do not get a summer job and you are not studying during the summer, you can apply to Kela for income support. You must explain the situation regarding job applications and your studies in the application.
The income available to you and your family, property and also savings can affect the awarding of benefit.
If you are still studying, but have used all your student financial aid months or if aid has been stopped because of the slow progress of your studies, you may receive income support. Support is awarded for a maximum of two months at a time.
In addition, you may receive income support at the beginning of your supper job if your salary will not be paid until the end and you have no other income.
A student loan is regarded as your income during the aid months even if you do not draw down the loan. If you are unable to study during the summer and you cannot receive student financial aid, a student loan awarded for the months you are studying will not be counted as income during the summer period.